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Queensland

Queensland, the most northerly of the Australian colonies, occupies an area of 669,520 square miles in the N.E. corner of the continent, being bounded N. by Torres Strait, S. by New South Wales, E. by the Pacific, W. by the Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern Territory, and South Australia. It grew out of the penal settlement at Moreton Bay, and received independence in 1859. The Pacific coast possesses many good harbours, e.g. Brisbane (the capital) in Moreton Bay, Maryborough in Wide Bay, Gladstone on Port Curtis, Rockhampton in Keppel Bay, and Cardwell in Rockingham Bay. Most of these are protected by the Great Barrier Reef. The only good port on the other side is at Point Parker. Rivers are plentiful, though not large. The Logan, Brisbane, Mary, Burnett, Fitzroy, Burdekin, Hubert, and Endeavour fall into the Pacific, and the Mitchell, Flinders, Leichhardt, and Albert drain into the gulf. Of lakes there are few. The climate, though hot, is healthy and bracing on the higher levels. Pastoral farming was, and still is, the chief industry, millions of sheep and cattle finding nourishment on the wide treeless table-lands. Of the mineral resources coal is the most important, the fields extending over 24,000 square miles. Great quantities are exported from the Newcastle, Ipswich, and Bundaberg districts. Gold is found in many parts, but the output has fallen off lately. Silver, copper, tin, iron, and the rarer minerals are abundant, and only await labour for their exploitation. The pearl and trepang fisheries off the coast of York Peninsula yield profit, and the supply of ordinary fish is excellent. The sugar cane is much cultivated by Kanaka (q.v.) labour, besides coffee, rice, and other tropical products. Manufacturing industries are as yet in their infancy. As the tropical and temperate parts of the colony differ widely in their economic and political conditions, there has been of late years an active movement in the former for their separation.

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